The second Volume of J. Miles Dunn’s epic Grinidon is now funding on Kickstarter and I was able to ask a few more questions about the series.
The first volume, now available in print and digital, was successfully funded about a year ago. It’s hard to explain just how satisfying of an experience this Kickstarter has been. The physical book is great, full of all that wonderful art by Erwin Arroza (interviewed here). Seeing the samples and random pages was one thing, but being able to sit and enjoy it all at once was…well, wonderful.
Of course, all is a relative term. The story is epic and in Volume One we have still only encountered two of the three Kingdoms vying for control of Calloway. There is so much more to be told…
Thanks again to J. Miles Dunn for taking the time for this interview. New readers should also check out Moby’s first interview with J. Miles Dunn for even more background regarding Grinidon and the history behind the project and it’s artist.
Grinidon: A Fantasy Graphic Novel – Volume 2 on Kickstarter
Grinidon is an epic saga of kingdoms and factions fighting for control of a newly discovered island, Calaway. You join the story fifty years into this conflict, after its lords and people have successfully won their independence from their homeland – and now wage war against each other.
Lords and families from the old lands have risked everything to come here and find their fortune. Alliances have been formed and broken, guilds and kingdoms have risen and fallen, and heroes have come from the most unlikely of places.
In Volume 1, the southern kingdom of Carnasus is preparing its capital for an attack from the north. The council has sent word for all those loyal to the realm to aid them, but they know that this is a battle they cannot hope to win. The northern army is impossibly large and their king has taken steps to ensure victory.
All appears lost until a figure from Carnasus’ past reemerges – but the slim hope he offers comes with great risk, for he knows a dark secret that must never be told. The council must decide if they will place their lives into the hands of those they cannot trust, or risk annihilation on the battlefield and leave their end to fate.
Moby’s – Volume 1 of Grinidon, your labor of love, is finally out there and it’s beautiful. Tell us a little about the experience of seeing your project become a reality.
J. Miles Dunn – It’s just so unbelievable. The amount of thought and labor I put into this is not just beyond anything I’ve ever done, it’s beyond anything I ever thought I could do.
My “to do” list just seemed to grow exponentially, and beyond the writing, technical, and logistical challenges, I actually had to start the book over three times. There’s just no preparing for something like that – but honestly, I don’t think it could have happened any other way.
The whole thing is just such an incredible whirlwind of research, rewrites, luck, edits, and patience, that unless a person is wholly dedicated to their project and it comes from a place of real passion, I don’t see how anyone could see it through to the end.
I hope that doesn’t dissuade anyone though, because after it’s finished, there’s no greater feeling than seeing your dream come to life. When you put that much work into something and it’s suddenly there before you, I also think that’s when you really know if this was something you had to do, or were meant to do.
In Vol. 1, we’ve only met two of the three Kingdoms of Calaway, and we’re left wondering if that mention of elves is foreshadowing anything. Can you tell us what new characters or races we might meet in Vol.2?
One of my favorite aspects of the story, after having worked on it for more than two decades, is its level of depth. I try to never throw too much at the reader, but a living and breathing world will always have new things to explore and discover.
I will say that in Volume 2 you get to meet the last of the three kingdoms, which includes several new characters, but this journey of discovery is really only just beginning. You’re definitely in for some surprises!
I liked how at the start of the story it was about the war, but then that moved to the background as the characters and their mission moved to the front. And then the subplots… and it’s all great! Can I get some of your thoughts on this and where things are headed?
To me, the mysteries are always the greatest thrill. What would Star Wars be without the Force and each character’s own backstory and motivations? The same is true of the relationship between the between the characters, races and kingdoms of the Lord of the Rings. Every new encounter holds new answers, but also adds an infinite number of questions.
If a story is done right, I think it is all very organic because everything is part of a whole. Fleshed-out stories and characters will always complement one another because each piece is part of a greater puzzle – and each section of that puzzle will come together in ways that may be unexpected.
At this point, the reader doesn’t truly know what the puzzle even is.
Though the enemy of our heroes, Prince Demetrius is such a tragic figure. We only meet him at the end of Vol. 1, but he seemed to perhaps have the most potential of any of the characters in the story. Am I far off?
I like Demetrius because he immediately shatters the reader’s perception of “who” the group’s enemy really is – or at least that was my hope.
In literature and in history, I often find that the internal struggles are far more interesting than the external ones – and you can’t fully appreciate one without the other. I guess it goes back to what I was saying before that each kingdom and character has their own story. There is a reason that people fight – even if that reason is a petty one.
Throughout each of the three kingdoms there are rifts and secrets. Demetrius is the first example of this within the North, but he definitely won’t be the last. You’re definitely not wrong to ask or speculate about his potential, and I’m genuinely excited to see your reaction to where things are headed, and who you question next.
Artist Erwin Arroza has already begun working on the art for Vol. 2, how is that coming along?
Honestly, it is going even better than Volume 1. We couldn’t be happier with how things are moving.
He is currently about fifty-pages into the second volume, but since I have so much of the story outlined, I am somewhat free to jump-around and tackle different sections of the issue where inspiration leads me. It is being illustrated in order, but I can’t say for sure how long the volume will actually be at this point. The first was 156 pages, so I guess we’ll have to see where this one ends-up.
I really like that freedom in doing this as graphic novels and not smaller issues. It gives me greater flexibility to tell the story as it naturally unfolds. Having to compact things can be incredibly restrictive in terms of letting emotions, action, and dialogue play-out naturally. It definitely gives me a newfound sense of respect for comic book creators.
How many Volumes might there be in the Grinidon saga?
That is a somewhat difficult question to answer, but not altogether impossible.
Originally I wrote them as novels but was fortunate enough to be able to make the transition into graphic novels – and by fortunate, I mean through luck and stubborn determination.
The first novel, as I have it outlined currently, should come in at seven volumes. There are twelve books in the series if I take it to completion, but some are longer and shorter than others. I don’t think sixty would be too far from accurate – which means that if I’m lucky, I have a very long road ahead of me.
Thanks again to J. Miles Dunn for another look into Grinidon.
You can get more info on Grinidon, or help out the project, by checking out the
As before, the value is great compared to many Kickstarters. You can get just the Graphic novel in digital or have the printed 150+ page book sent to you for as little as $15 (plus $5 Shipping).
That’s a great deal, and a good way to make new fans.
Grinidon receives Moby’s highest recommendation.